July 11, 2012

With Great Power…

Lasting First Impressions of The Amazing Spider-Man from Beenox

Beenox_Pantone1Couleur» Spider-Man games have become an annual occurrence on the consoles over the last several years and developer Beenox has been behind the last three installments: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Spider-Man: Edge of Time (which we reviewed here last year) and their most recent title, The Amazing Spider-Man.  Although it boasts the same title as the new, rebooted, movie franchise, this isn’t a movie tie-in game.  Beenox’s The Amazing Spider-Man picks up where the movie ends and continues the story further, playing off events that occurred in film.

While I’ve been a fan of the comic book and movie renditions of Spider-Man for many, many years, the Spider-Man games never really excited me.  The only game I ever really enjoyed (and completed) was Spider-Man: Friend or Foe as it was more of a platformer, action game and wasn’t about “being” Spider-Man swinging around New York.  After last year’s disappointing Spider-Man: Edge of Time title, I was a little trepidatious about this new one.  Was it going to be the same thing with a new skin? Would it suffer from movie-game syndrome? I really didn’t want to find out. So, my 12-year old daughter took it for a spin before I did.  Here is what she thought about it (in her own words):

  • You fight crimes in the city
  • You can do challenges
  • It looks GREAT!
  • I didn’t expect it to be so much fun, and easy to play.
  • It’s addictive.
  • It’s like Batman – you can do stealth takedowns
  • It’s a really big city
  • You can climb to the top of a building and jump off
  • Easier than other Spider-Man games

The Amazing Spider-Man - Perched

She is right, on all accounts.  After her excitement for the game (she opened it the moment I showed it to her), I knew it was going to be better than last year’s title.  I sat down with it for my usual hour review and it was so captivating that I ended up playing for over 2 hours without knowing it.  After the standard ‘here’s how you use your abilities’ tutorial level and an introduction to the overall storyline, the player is dropped off outside in the large island of Manhattan with the next story mission.

Surprisingly, and contrary to my experience last year, the controls in this game are very intuitive and just feel right.  The combat is quite reminiscent to Rocksteady’s Batman games and the different moves that Spidey does while fighting is simply a joy to watch.  This really made me feel like I was truly Spider-Man bouncing around the room from one enemy to the other all the while littering the room with one-liners.  After gaining experience points and upgrading some abilities, I was even able to perform a “Stealth Takedown” just like the aforementioned Batman franchise making crawling around the ceilings that much more amusing. Beenox has even included a new “web-zip” ability that allows the player to hold the R1 button and visually choose where they would like to go.  Once selected, Spidey will automatically swing to your selected location which helps you move around larger rooms faster and with more accuracy.

The Amazing Spider-Man - Hanging Around

When not playing through a mission that usually takes place indoors, you have the entire island of Manhattan as a playground to swing through to your heart’s desire, with random crimes to save victims from.  For those collection lovers out there, Spider-Man also includes many items of interest to find including: Magazines, Oscorp Manuals, Tech Pieces, Photos, Audio Evidence, and the most fun of all, Comic Book pages.  These comic book pages can be found both scattered around the city, high and low, and even floating around the city making some of them truly a challenge to not only find, but to collect. I found it difficult not to stop and collect them as I flew by and saw them shimmering off in the distance.

Fans of Spider-Man will also enjoy the new take on historic villains such as Rhino and The Scorpion.  I thought this take on them was much more believable and continues the story told in the movie.  Be aware, however, as the game will actually spoil some plot points of the movie, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly recommend watching it before playing this game.

The Amazing Spider-Man is actually the best Spider-Man game I have played in many years and does an excellent job making the player really feel like a wall-crawling, web-slinging, superhero.  The visuals look great, the detail on the characters are amazing, the controls are intuitive and easy to learn, and the overall gameplay is a joy.

Beenox, I gave you an hour and I am surprisingly IMPRESSED.


About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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